In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.
The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself. This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present. It features contributions from our greatest thinkers. Named one of the BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The Washington Post • NPR • Esquire • Marie Claire • Kirkus Reviews
90. The tenth book is one of mine: SEASONS; MY JOURNEY THROUGH GRIEF
I lost my husband of forty-one years to sarcoidosis, a disease that few people know much about. My beloved struggled through a year of fatigue, anemia, and other health issues, with doctors at the county hospital telling us he was doing just fine." When he died, I went through all the stages of grief, from anger and depression to acceptance, and I realized that our good times far outweighed the bad. So I turned to journaling, and the 800 pages I wrote in the years before and after his death became my book, SEASONS; MY JOURNEY THROUGH GRIEF.
I found my comfort in writing. Before my husband died, I prayed for healing for him and patience for me. After, I communed with God, my thoughts and nature as I wrote pages nearly everyday, using the words of others, including the Bible, to inspire and console me. They gave me wisdom and courage to help me come to terms with my loss without baring my soul and tears in public. As Oprah said, "Keeping a journal will change your life in ways that you'd never imagine.
After two years, I had turned my journals into my fifth book, SEASONS. I selected my best passages and organized them into four sections: summer, autumn, winter, and spring, recounting his death and the year that followed. This is the true story of my journey through my own seasons of grief. Grief, like life,, has its own set of seasons. We must all eventually face them head on, in our own time and at our own pace. No matter what our loss, we must learn how to endure and survive our seasons in order to live fully again. This is the true story of my journey through my own seasons of grief. If you've lost a loved one, especially a spouse, you might gain some insight from my journey.